Voted one of world’s “50 Great Voices” by NPR, Buika—born on the island of MaJorca to African immigrant parents—has emerged as a true innovator, a must-see artist among jazz aficionados. Her evident African roots and her cosmopolitanism, developed in clubs in Spain and Americanized during a surreal stint in Las Vegas, explain Buika’s rare self-possession. But nothing can quite explain her ability to connect, in spite of the fact that she sings nearly exclusively in Spanish—Buika is simply one of those rare and wonderful “one listen” artists. It’s a quality that struck the renowned filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, who cast her in The Skin I Live In, and jazz legend Chick Corea, who featured Buika as a special guest during his epic run at the Blue Note in late 2011.
Her latest release is En Mi Piel (In My Skin), an exhaustive two-disc compilation on Warner Music Latina that showcased Buika’s breathtaking diversity and range—and her development as a total artist. The collection begins with the two songs she performed in the Almodóvar film: “Por el amor de amar” (For the Love of Love) and a scintillating version of “Se me hizo facil” (It Was Easy), the original of which appeared on the Trago CD. En Mi Piel also features signature songs from her earlier releases and as well as tracks culled from Buika’s guest appearances on projects by producer/guitarist Javier Limón, singer Armando Manzanero, Cuban pianists Bebo and Chucho Valdés, and special editions of her CDs not available in the U.S.